I have no idea what I am doing.

various fabrics embroidered together

A few months back I mentioned that I was experimenting with some fabrics and thread to create new fiber artworks.

I have no idea what I am doing.

This is the first time I’ve created work with no predetermined concept, no sketching, no sense of where I am going.

To be honest, I don’t like it. I’m too impatient for this kind of work. I’m too afraid it will turn out to be a waste of time.

fiber artwork

And yet, I know I need to keep working on it. I’m drawn to it for some reason. There’s something about being lost inside an artwork that I need right now. It’s making me slow down somehow. Since I don’t know where the “end” is, what the final product is supposed to be, I’m not really in a hurry to get there.

various fabrics embroidered together

I’m still waiting for this to turn into the meditative, relaxing exercise I was hoping it would.

I have a feeling that just isn’t the kind of artist I am.

And, I’m ok with that.

Starting to scratch the surface.

piles of fabric and package of needles and some embroidery thread sitting on a coffee table

piles of fabric and package of needles and some embroidery thread sitting on a coffee table

There’s that feeling when you know you are about to start something. That a new series is just about ready for you to create it. There’s excitement, fear, anticipation, impatience, and eagerness, all wrapped up inside me ready to burst out and get to work. This is the fuzziest I have ever been about a final artwork. I am such a planner that I usually have the entire installation organized in my head before the work begins.

This time around the plan is to let the material do the talking. That is crazy town for me. I don’t really even know what that means yet. Right now, it is me giving my brain a rest and letting my hands take over a bit. Instead of high anxiety, labor of love, I am working towards a relaxing, go with the flow, work ethic.

I have no idea how long it will last and really don’t know if anyone will ever see a final artwork. I just know that I have some fabric, needles, and thread and I’m going to start sewing some stuff together.

I will think about the rest later.

Getting reacquainted with photography

I bought myself a Christmas present this year. That hasn’t happened in a while. That’s a good thing because this year’s present was fairly expensive. I’ve re-discovered my passion (more like obsession) with photography in the last several months. For that reason, I thought I’d reward myself with a new camera so that the world could begin to see what I see in higher quality. Mostly, it’s a reward for getting over myself.

You forget that you had to learn how to hold a camera until you get a new one. The buttons are in a different place, the weight is not the same. It feels bulky and wrong. But, at the same time it feels so right. It’s scary and new and exciting and I can’t wait to take hundreds of horrible images as I slowly discover a rhythm with my new friend.

Its about time I take my passion a bit more seriously. It’s amazing that I believed more in myself as a photographer when I was 14 years old than I did in the last 5 years. It feels good to be reaching back in time to that girl that just had to have her camera with her and didn’t know any other way to speak to the world except through photographs.

My makeshift product photography studio.

earrings made from playing cards hanging on a planter

I have been re-examining how I photograph my upcycled products for display in my online store.  Having done a bit of research of other successful online stores and paying attention to my own online shopping tendencies I realized my photographs may be a bit too much.  The backgrounds are distracting one’s eyes away from the product.

earrings made from playing cards hanging on a planter

I have come to realize that the best way to show off a product is to show ONLY the product.

I do not have the money for a photography studio or even the proper lighting.  So, I am depending on my makeshift studio, natural lighting, my tripod and Photoshop in hopes it will do the trick.

table covered with a white table cloth

Because I feel like white backgrounds are so atrociously boring (not in all photographs, just in my products shots) I have made a compromise with myself that the first photograph someone sees of the product will be the boring white background shot.  The rest can be detail shots and ONE artsy-fartsy photograph is allowed for each product if I feel the urge.

We will see how my customers respond to this makeover when it is complete!

Remix.

So, in an attempt to shed my art past and hopefully get out a current funk I have started tearing apart and getting rid of my old work.  This seems pretty crazy to me and I don’t feel good while I am partaking in the act of cutting apart my large installation pieces.  But honestly at this point I don’t know what else to do.  I do not enjoy looking at boxes that are and will never go anywhere.  They have passed their prime and are no longer eligible for current art exhibitions.  And, I don’t plan on having a retrospective and even if I did the work wouldn’t make it that long.  So, as everything in life has a cycle, so must my artwork.

The first piece I decided to dismantle was “Toilet Paper” which was created in 2007 and consists of 30 rolls of toilet paper with several portraits printed on them.  Have a look.

TP 4

So, after unpacking it, tossing some of it, saving the clean toilet paper for later use and keeping the images I think I might turn into new works, this is what I am left with.

toilet paper with faces printed on it that have been cut apart

A much smaller box and a somewhat calmer mind.